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Video Game Reviews

By ROBB GUIDO

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 28, 2000


Toy Story 2

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Activision

The PlayStation version of this game wasn't bad, but the transition to Dreamcast was less than smooth. Woody's world looks better than before, but the frantic camera in this 3-D action game strips it of any fun that could have been had.

Grade: C-

Strider 2

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $29.99

MAKER: Capcom

I have been waiting at least 10 years for Strider to return for an encore, and, happily, Strider 2 stays true to its 2-D roots. Despite the game's old-school value, anyone can enjoy this action title, which forces players to learn the movements of enemies to perform well. Unfortunately, it's far too easy to cheat past levels because of unlimited continues.

Grade: B

Chrono Cross

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: SquareSoft

The eagerly awaited sequel to the classic Super NES game Chrono Trigger exudes vibrant colors to go with its plot of travel between parallel worlds. While the story is slow to develop, there's plenty to interest players in the way of battles and item creation, making Chrono Cross a worthy successor.

Grade: A

Threads of Fate

SYSTEM: PlayStation

PRICE: $39.99

MAKER: SquareSoft

SquareSoft isn't generally known for action games, and Threads of Fate doesn't do much to alter its reputation. The story and characters are interesting enough, and their means of dispensing with enemies are fun in theory. But players may have trouble getting into the initially dull battles and dungeons.

Grade: C+

Seaman

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Sega

Virtual pets take a quantum leap with sarcastic results in Seaman for Dreamcast. Players start out with an egg, which grows into a fish and eventually an amphibian, and must nurture their pal by maintaining its aquarium and talking to it via a microphone that jacks into the Dreamcast controller. Action-oriented gamers may bore of the evolutionary pace of the game, but it beats caring for a dog.

Grade: B

Test Drive: Cycles

SYSTEM: Game Boy Color

PRICE: $29.99

MAKER: Infogrames

Test Drive: Cycles has plenty of makes, including Harley-Davidson and BMW, but it seems too much like Infogrames' other Game Boy racing games, which offer tepid action and flat, repetitive graphics. However, if moving left and right on a miniature hog is fun for you, TD: Cycles is where it's at.

Grade: C-

Giga Wing

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $29.99

MAKER: Capcom

Capcom tries to keep 2-D games alive with an overhead shooter based on the arcade game. I love 2-D shooters, having grown up with Space Megaforce and Gradius, but a ridiculous amount of enemy fire countered with unlimited continues that let you start exactly where your plane was destroyed result in a wasted effort. Too bad, because it looks fantastic.

Grade: C

World Series Baseball 2K1

SYSTEM: Dreamcast

PRICE: $49.99

MAKER: Sega

This game isn't without its flaws. For one thing, fielding is almost entirely computer-controlled and batting can be difficult. But there's something about this title that makes it feel as if you're involved in a real baseball game. It could be the stunning camera angles, player gestures or the tense face-off between batters and pitchers. Once you get the swing of World Series Baseball 2K1, you'll be in baseball heaven.

Grade: B+

- Robb Guido is an avid gamer who lives in Tampa.

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